Downsizing in Greenwich

A growing trend in Greenwich is that empty nesters and seniors are downsizing their homes.

This was expected with the aging of the boomer generation and changes in the economy, and now it’s happening. Some of those downsizing have homes elsewhere for other interests (e.g., golf, skiing, family) and others wish to streamline or eliminate the work and expense of owning a home they and/or their children don’t need or use anymore.

The primary concerns of those who are downsizing include stairs, maintenance and taxes. They’re looking in locations of convenience (close to social events, grocery and other stores, restaurants) and proximity to family members. Also of importance is whether pets can be accommodated and visiting children entertained. Parking and garages can also be a challenge in some cases.

In Greenwich, downsizers choosing smaller single-family homes do not want to do work. As downsizers often compete with new-home buyers in the lower price-segments, homes requiring work are, usually, not of contention and remain opportunistic for others wishing to do renovations.

Downsizers can already have another home to go to after they sell their family home and/or wish to remain in Greenwich all or part of the year. If a large home needs to be sold first, a Realtor needs to be sure they understand the current market value and, with their attorney, estimate what they will net when it is sold.

Downsizers have to become educated by their Realtor in the monthly fees and any assessments of a condominium or co-op, if that is preferred. It is important to know what the monthly fees include and what the rules and responsibilities of owners are before executing a contract.

The first step for a Realtor working in a situation like this is understanding what a buyer’s priorities and requirements are for the next home. Sometimes family members may be part of the home-buying process. Possibly friends are providing advice or direction that may or may not be based on current or accurate information. Sometimes multiple decision-makers can make the purchase process complicated.

Some downsizers have not purchased a home in years and did it last with the help of someone else who may have passed. A Realtor can carefully and respectfully walk them through the purchase process to assist them in making an informed decision.

If downsizers’ requirements and priorities are not clear or conflictive, then financial uncertainty may be the issue. If homes are being shown that meet most, if not all, their requirements, perhaps the downsizer is worried about making a significant purchase. Another possibility, is that downsizers do not know what they want. Helping to formulate a “must-have” list for a future home and presenting the benefits of housing alternatives can help. Understandably, a move can be overwhelming for anybody.

A Realtor can navigate these needs and concerns, if downsizers are open about them. Greenwich has a lot of options for downsizers, from co-ops and condominiums to single- and multi-family homes. Most would agree that streamlining costs and living with what you really need and use in an organized fashion is comforting and wonderful.


Mary Ann Clark is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker at 177 West Putnam Avenue in Greenwich. Questions or comments may be emailed to [email protected]

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